In a culture where information is widely accessible and dialogues on issues within society are flowing, there is a problem that simply isn’t being spoken about enough: men are dying too young.
According to the Movember Foundation, who champion Men’s Health Awareness Month every November, men experience worse long-term health than women and die an average of six years earlier. The focus of this month is to draw attention to three of the biggest health issues facing men; testicular cancer, prostate cancer and mental health and suicide prevention.
Testicular cancer, is the most common cancer for young men in the UK. While 95% of those diagnosed will survive, the frequency of the disease has increased by 10% in the last decade according to Cancer Research UK. Therefore, it is incredibly important that we continue to raise awareness of the symptoms, to ensure that early detection is possible.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men overall, with 1 in 8 UK men being diagnosed with it in their lifetimes. While the survival rates are still relatively high at 84%, it is estimated that one man dies from the disease every 45 minutes. Again, an early diagnosis is key. While all men will survive for at least five years if prostate cancer is caught at its earliest stage, this drops dramatically to less than a third if diagnosed at the latest stage.
Arguably, the most complex problem is addressing the startling rate of male suicide. In Great Britain, men account for 75% suicides and globally one man commits suicide every minute. While there is no single reason that men take their own lives, untreated mental illness can often be a factor. Too many men stay silent and are reluctant to seek help, which can result in a downward spiral.
Fundamentally, many cases of all three of these issues are preventable. By spreading awareness on the signs and symptoms and eradicating the stigma some men associate with seeking help, we can work towards a less threatening future.
While traditionally Movember fundraising is identified by growing a moustache, there are other ways to get involved too. The Foundation has introduced the ‘Move for Movember’ campaign, challenging anyone and everyone to walk or run 60km during November; signifying the 60 men we lose to suicide every hour across the world.
If you would like to take part in Movember fundraising, please visit the charity’s website here